From the Director of Wellbeing
Keeping our Students Safe
We are most fortunate at St Catherine’s to have a school community where our students feel safe and secure. Results from the Years 7 to 12 Resilience Survey, indicated that our students feel a strong sense of safety whilst at School, however, we are conscious that we cannot be complacent about such matters. We take this responsibility very seriously, as a sense of safety is integral to a strong sense of wellbeing, empowerment and connection within a community.
As part of St Catherine’s commitment to being a Child Safe Organisation, a number of regulations are in place to protect the students. As part of our professional duty of care we must strive to maintain a safe and secure environment for all students and staff. A key element of protecting children is to ensure that they do not come into contact with anyone without a Working With Children Check during the School day. ‘The Working With Children Check assists in protecting children from sexual or physical harm by ensuring that people who work with, or care for them are subject to a screening process’. All teaching staff, coaches and volunteers are required to hold a current Working With Children Check as part of their registration, employment or volunteering requirements.
How parents can help:
Recent breaches of this safety requirement have been highlighted when some Senior School students have ordered take-away food deliveries, including UberEATs, to the School front or back gates. We ask that parents discourage this practice if your daughter asks for money for take-away orders during the School day.
It is imperative that every student is mindful that this practice not only places their own safety at risk, as they are communicating with a member of the public who has not met the WWC check requirements, but that these food deliveries are jeopardising the security of the School boundary. Security footage has indicated that on more than one occasion, delivery people have entered the School grounds without following appropriate procedures, in some cases without legitimate reason. Students have been reminded of the need to refrain from ordering take-away food to School unless in exceptional circumstances, such as to purchase dinner during an evening activity or rehearsal when the Mary Davis Café is not open. In such cases, permission must be sought from the teacher in charge. We would be most grateful for parental support of this regulation.
We have also reviewed the Visitor’s Pass procedures to ensure that all visitors to the School, including parents, sign in at Reception to receive an appropriate pass. Staff have recently received professional development training involving risk assessment procedures and site security and have been advised to approach anyone without a visitor’s lanyard to query the reason for their presence in the School grounds.
I am sure you will agree that the slight inconvenience of not having a favourite take-away during school hours or the need for all visitors to report to Reception on arrival, will be a small price to pay for the safety of our girls whilst at School.
Further information about St Catherine’s School Child Safety Strategy and Policies can be found on this link. Our Child Safety documentation has been recently audited by the VRQA (Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority) and been found to be exemplary. Your support of these Child Safety requirements is much appreciated and will assist us in our endeavours to continue to provide an environment where your daughter feels safe and secure.
Ms Merran O’Connor
Director of Student Wellbeing